Distillery project could be assisted with another grant

Published 10:41 am Monday, February 12, 2018


Washington officials intend to use a $10,000 grant to leverage another grant to help facilitate a proposal to convert the former Bank of America building downtown into a mixed-use enterprise.

Hackney Distillery LLC, owners of the former bank building, plan to apply for a Smart Communities ElectriCities Economic Development Grant. Such grants require matching funds. Usually, eligible communities receive up to $4,000 in grant funds for projects, but this year they could receive up to $10,000. Washington plans to use a $10,000 grant from the N.C. Commerce Department as the local match required by the Smart Communities grant contract.

“Participants in the grant are eligible to receive matching funds to be used for specific economic development projects. The structure is currently undergoing an adaptive reuse process in order become a distillery, restaurant and boutique hotel,” wrote John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural services, to the mayor and City Council.

The city would seek the grant on behalf of Hackney Distillery LLC. Grant applications are reviewed regularly and awards made when applications are approved.

The city plans to use the up to $200,000 in state grant funding to assist The Hackney Distillery LLC (Nick and Suzanne Sanders) in rehabilitating the former bank building, into a distillery, destination restaurant and boutique hotel.

Nick Sanders, who recently moved from London to Washington with his wife, Suzanne, told the council in December that growth of the distillery and micro-distillery industry is a “global trend.” Sanders said he is ready to commit $775,000 in addition to grant funding to rehabilitate the former bank building. He also said The Hackney Distillery LLC would provide any matching funds the grant agreement would require.

A similar project across the street from the former Bank of America buildings is underway.

The proposal to bring a brew pub to downtown Washington received assistance last month when the City Council voted to lend up to $500,000 in grant funding to the project developer, New Vision Partners.

The plan is to place Castle Island Brewery in the old Fowle Building at the intersection of West Main and Respess streets. To protect itself should the venture fail, the city requires New Venture Partners to sign a promissory note and deed of trust —with the city as the beneficiary — for the property to secure the loan.

The city, with help from the Mid-East Commission, sought the grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Commerce by way of community development block grant appropriations. The grant will provide assistance to complete renovation of the Fowle Building. The three-story building, constructed in 1900, contains 11,800 square feet. The building has been vacant for several decades.

“Interior renovations will also occur to accommodate a micro-brewery with a dining facility. Outside the scope of the grant, the company will invest $400,000 in equipment and an additional $800,000 in an up-fit of proposed apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floors,” reads a memorandum from City Manager Bobby Roberson to the mayor and council members.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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